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Ongoing Project 2021-23: Feeding spent hemp biomass to cattle: cannabinoid residuals, animal health, and product quality

The main objectives of the in vivo trial of the study are to assess the presence of cannabinoids residuals in milk and determine the effect on animal performance and health when spent hemp biomass is fed to lactating cows

Our long-term goal is to implement the safe use of hemp byproducts in livestock diets and take full advantage of their nutritional and potential medicinal properties to improve animal health and the quality of animal products. The objective of the present proposal is to generate fundamental data for the legalization of spent hemp biomass to be used to feed livestock and creating an Extension program to connect producers with the hemp industry. The determination of cannabinoids residuals in milk and meat are essential to obtain FDA approval for use of hemp byproducts in ruminant diets. 

We plan to accomplish our overall objective by pursuing the following Specific Aims:

Specific Aim 1: Determine the residuals of cannabinoids in milk, muscle, and adipose tissue and the effects on health and production in dairy cows fed a ration containing extracted hemp biomass. We will replace alfalfa with extracted hemp biomass in the ration of mid-lactation dairy cows. We will evaluate the effects on animal health, milk yield and composition, and the levels of THC and CBD residuals in milk, adipose tissue, and muscle.

Specific Aim 2: Develop and implement an Extension program to educate livestock producers, general consumers, and policy makers about the feeding potential of hemp biomass byproducts to livestock. We will leverage support from the Oregon Beef Council, Oregon Dairy Farmers Association, the OSU Global Hemp Innovation Center (GHIC), and our OSU Extension Service to develop programs (1) to evaluate producers’ attitude toward and interest in feeding hemp byproducts to livestock; (2) to educate livestock producers about feeding hemp byproducts to livestock; (3) to evaluate consumer acceptability of products derived from animals fed hemp byproducts; and (4) to engage with and educate policy makers about findings of the proposed study (Research and Extension).



  • Nosal D., Bionaz M. Muchiri R. Van Breemen R.B. 2021. Analysis of Cannabinoids in Milk from Cows Consuming Spent Hemp using Ultra High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry. ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics.

Project members: 
Principle Investigator
Principle Investigator
Principle Investigator
Principle Investigator
Project Coordinator
Project Coordinator

Funding Source

USDA AFRI NEFA Critical Agricultural Research and Extension (CARE). Project#ORE01002





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